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Free Pumpkin Carving Patterns
Halloween Guide and Ideas


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Halloween Guide and Ideas


Halloween Guide and Ideas


To carve a good Jack-O-Lantern, you need the right tools for the job! They have to be sharp enough, flexible, thin and sturdy.

Over the years we've collected, experimented with, altered or made a number of tools suited for our pumpkin carving toolkit.

Most of what you will need you may already have in your kitchen or can be purchased in the kitchen section at your local department store. The basics are listed below and generally won't cost you more that $25.00

Tools of the Trade

Boning Knife
We use this long, thin bladed knife to cut the top hole and any large pieces out of the face of the pumpkin.

Modified Paring Knife: We took a small paring knife to the grinder to make a very thin bladed knife for detail work.

Carving Tools

Sharpening stone
Knives work best when sharp, and are actually safer because they require less force to make the necessary cuts. We sharpen our knives before and often during our pumpkin carving. Be sure to follow the instruction that come with the sharpening stone.

Knife Sharpening Wand

Tools for transferring and cutting out paper stencil patterns.

Cutting Saw: This tool is essential for carving fine, detailed areas, but can be used for carving the entire Jack-O-Lantern. We like to use an X-Acto knife (No. 5 Knife Handle) with the keyhole saw (No. 15)

Poker Tool: This is used to transfer your designs onto the face of the pumpkin. An ice pick or nail can be used for this. An artist's Stylus tool makes a great Poker Tool and can be found at most craft and art supply stores. You can also use a transfer tool from a pumpkin carving kit as well.

Patterns: You can make these on your computer, download pre-made ones or buy them during the Halloween season in booklets.

Carving Tools

Stylus Tool

Carving Tools

Gutting Spoons
We use several different types and sizes of spoons for removing the seeds, pulp and skin from the inside of the pumpkin. An ice-cream scoop and a large metal ladle work great to scrap the inside of the pumpkin to remove the guts.

Utensils like the ones on the right are inexpensive and can be found at most department stores in their kitchen section. We've picked some up at our local dollar store for much less than other stores carry them. Shop around!

Gutting Tools

Tool Box:
Something to keep all of your pumpkin carving tools in insures that they stay together and you can find them when the time comes. Toolboxes can be found at hardware and department stores. Our toolbox, pictured to the right, is large enough to hold all of our tools, templates and candles. It only cost ten dollars and best of all, it's orange!


Candles & Holders:
We prefer the traditional use of candles to illuminate our Jack-O'-Lanterns. Votive candles, placed in clear glass candle holders are safer and last longer. Plain white candles give off the most light.

Remember, any fire, no matter how small or protected has the potential for becoming a large and potentially disastrous one. Fire safety should always be the number one priority. Never leave a lit candle unsupervised. Have a fire extinguisher readily available and see that everyone knows how to use it. Never leave children unattended with a lit pumpkin, candles or other source of fire.

Light them up!
Take care of your tools...

Tool Care: If you take good care of your carving tools they'll last a very long time, if not a lifetime.

Always clean your tools after you use them, and then store them all together for the next Halloween.

Care should be taken not to bend knife blades or carving saw blades. Carving blades are very thin and sometimes brittle, and can be particularly subject to breaking.


An online guide to Pumpkin Carving Tools from the past to the present.


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